Small businesses urged to become registered to possibly benefit from tax exemptions

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The Small Business Bureau Wednesday evening hosted a webinar for small and micro enterprises (SMEs) to examine solutions small business owners could use to improve their operations in 2021.

The owners were urged by representatives of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) and the Commercial Registry to register with those entities to access services to help their businesses develop.

GRA’s Communications Officer Fabian Clowes said registered business owners could benefit from tax concessions/exemptions. He highlighted that small manufacturers who import raw materials and packaging materials could be exempted from paying customs duties and VAT on the imports, once they are registered and they apply to the GRA Commissioner-General.

He added that tour operators in Regions One, Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten can be eligible for exemption of payment of corporation tax for a maximum of 10 years, providing the business is registered and the Commissioner General is satisfied with the criteria for compliance.

Clowes also encouraged persons to regularly check on their tax status, to avoid unpredictable circumstances, for example, when applying for tax compliance.

Public Relations Officer of the GNBS Lloyd David, said the agency trains business owners on standards to enhance efficiency and improve quality of the service they provide as part of its business support services.

The Bureau also provides certification for measurements and has some 500 standards in play. David said SME standard could be applied to increase efficiency, productivity and quality of the product.

David added that business owner should apply for their standards from the GNBS, and they will provide assistance in the selection of the standards and provide guidance during the application process.

In 2021, the GNBS will target small businesses, so that they could reach the identified standard and be certified.

Business name supervisor from the Registry, Vandaleeza Balgobin said persons must firstly register their business name at the Commercial Registry to ensure they are operating legally.

She noted that business owners who register could benefit from loans and have easier access to opening bank, Visa and travel accounts. Registration also provides security for a business’s name and proves legal ownership.

Meanwhile, NIS Training Officer Dane Chesney urged businesses to ensure their contributions are up to date, in case of unforeseen issues that may negatively affect them.

He said they should ensure their payments are current and comply with all requirements so they could receive compensation benefits in case of loss of income.

The webinar, titled, ‘Challenges and Solutions for Micro and Small Enterprises in Guyana’ continued on Thursday evening. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]